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Storyteller - Keynote Speakers

Richard Hight

Richard Hight has earned acclaim for his ability to ignite and inspire audiences to greater heights of innovation and creativity through his skills in the visual arts. A resident of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Richard travels the world to share his message of empowerment and encouragement. He shares his experiences with thousands of people every year, showing them how to focus on their individual strengths and how to recognize possibilities rather than limitations.

Andrew McCarthy

Andrew speaks about his personal journey and how travel and self-reflection changed his life. Aside from his successful acting and directing careers, he is now a successful writer and editor at large for National Geographic Traveler. He discusses fear of the unknown, taking the time to enjoy the precious moments in life, pushing yourself to try new things, and looking at the world with new eyes. Best known for his acting career and starring roles in St. Elmo's Fire, Pretty in Pink, Mannequin, and Weekend at Bernie's, he has a successful Broadway career and is currently a highly regarded director. Current projects include hit series' Orange is the New Black, Turn, and The Blacklist. He returned to acting in ABC's 2016 hit, The Family. His debut novel for young readers, Just Fly Away will be published in March 2017.

David Romanelli

As a bestselling author with 20 years of experience and research on what it means to be truly happy, Dave Romanelli shares immediately accessible tools on how to turn up the volume on your level of joy and be more present at work and at home. His new book, Happy is the New Healthy, launched in paperback in January 2017 and has twice reached #1 on Amazon’s Healthy Living Bestseller List. The book was inspired by Dave’s friendship with a 111 year-old lady whose secrets to health and happiness were: Sex, Vodka, and Spicy Food! That emphasis on “joie de vivre,” resilience, and enjoying life each and every day best describe Dave’s message and approach to work and life.

Jillian B. Murphy

Jillian is a dynamic keynote speaker who has been featured at numerous conferences and client events around the world. Jillian is Director of Client Services at The Syncretics Group and has worked with senior executives in a broad range of organizations, including Wal-Mart, AIG, Nationwide, and HT Media. Her programs use adventure stories as the foundation, and include dramatic videos and photographs, as well as Ten Critical Strategies for Success. They include vivid examples of the strategies in action, as well as discussions around how to apply the strategies in today’s demanding business environment.

Heather Abbott

Heather Abbott is the model of strength and resilience. The Boston Marathon bombing survivor, lost her left leg as a result of shrapnel to her foot. Just four months following the bombing, she was living independently and returned to her job. Within the first year following her amputation, she returned to the activities she loves, including paddle boarding, running and wearing high heels. Heather shares her story with audiences across the country and inspires others with her contagious optimism and thoughtful reflection on her journey. She has become certified as a Peer Counselor by the American Amputee Coalition and is helping other amputees adjust to their “new normal,” as an example of hope and determination. In addition, she is founder of the newly formed Heather Abbott Foundation, which provides prosthetic devices to limb loss victims of trauma.

Elizabeth Smart

The abduction of Elizabeth was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Through this traumatic experience Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and National legislation. Elizabeth’s example is a daily demonstration that there really is life after a tragic event. Her humor combined with her ability to reach the audience on an emotional level ensures that her message of hope reaches all. Elizabeth’s abduction and recovery continues to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. She emphasizes vigilance by "every day" people and the belief that hope always exist to find every missing child.

Kim Daisy

Daisy Cakes began in June 2009. Kim "Daisy" was born to cook! She was taught at an early age by both her grandmothers and great aunt Daisy, after whom her company is named. Kim wanted to share her family cake recipes with a much larger customer base. Kim and her Daisy Cakes were cast in the ABC hit show "Shark Tank" and aired in April of 2011. Since then, her business has sky-rocketed! Along with the help of her business partner, Barbara Corcoran, many opportunities have come her way.

Johnny "Cupcakes" Earle

Named America’s #1 young entrepreneur by BUSINESS WEEK, profiled in the NYTimes, NPR, MTV, Forbes, NEWSWEEK Magazine and the Boston Globe, and featured in INC Magazine as one of the world’s fastest growing independent businesses –Johnny Earle, the founder of Johnny Cupcakes. At 19, Johnny had a passion for his one of a kind t-shirt business. To go global in a saturated marketplace, he needed a different recipe that would go viral! He created such a unique brand experience that consumers would (and do) line up around the block for. After 5 global store openings, he inspires fans to camp out for weeks ahead of time and high profile collaborations such as The Simpson's, Looney Tunes and Nickelodeon. Johnny is now sharing his secret recipe for VIRAL Business and Marketing Success through his high impact keynote speeches.

Ingrid Lindberg

As one of the first Customer Experience Officers (CXO) in the country, Ingrid Lindberg has been a pioneer on the leading edge of customer experience for over 20 years. She’s partnered with numerous Fortune 500 companies across Finance, Healthcare, Packaged Goods and Retail, working to create differentiating customer experience strategies and cultures. She was awarded the prestigious Stevie Maverick of the Year for having the most impact on a company or industry. Ingrid has a record of energizing sales people, rallying senior and executive leadership teams, and driving customer experience improvements to expand companies’ growth and success. She is a plain talking, jargon free truth-teller who inspires everyone to do better for the customer. A tenacious daredevil who will show you that you, too, can make big change from any seat in any sized company.

Leeza Gibbons

Recognizability, Relatability and Reputation... that and more is what you get with Leeza’s as she uplifts, empowers and motivates audiences and viewers to get more out of life and business. Emmy Award winner Leeza Gibbons is one of the most well‐known pop‐culture icons on the air. In addition to her impressive background in the field of entertainment and news media, Leeza is an instrumental advocate for healthcare, wellness, and caregiving. She is also a wife, mother, businesswoman, EMMY award winner and a New York Times bestselling author. In 2013, Leeza published Take 2, a personal growth guide designed to help people recreate themselves and hit the reset button on their lives. Leeza’s uplifting personality shines through in this New York Times Best Seller.

Judy Smith

Judy A. Smith is the founder and President of Smith & Co, a leading strategic and crisis communications firm with offices in Washington D.C. and Los Angeles. Most recently known for being the inspiration for ABC’s hit show SCANDAL. Over the last 25 years, Ms. Smith has brought her unique combination of communication skills, media savvy, legal and political acumen to clients facing a wide array of issues and challenges throughout the United States and abroad. Ms. Smith honed her skills through her experiences with some of the most historic and sensational events of our time, including the Iran Contra investigation, the prosecution of former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, the 1991 Gulf War, the Los Angeles riots, the Supreme Court confirmation hearings of Justice Clarence Thomas, the President Clinton scandal involving Monica Lewinsky, the congressional inquiry of Enron, and the United Nations Foundation and World Health Organization response to the SARS epidemic. Perhaps best known in media circles for her expertise as a crisis management advisor, Ms. Smith has served as a consultant for a host of high profile, celebrity and entertainment clients over the course of her career including, but not limited to, Monica Lewinsky, Senator Craig from Idaho, actor Wesley Snipes, NFL quarterback Michael Vick, and the family of Chandra Levy.

Natalie Stavas

On April 15, 2013, Dr. Natalie Stavas approached the finish line of her fifth Boston marathon. Just blocks away, she heard explosions and ran towards them. Arriving at the scene she went to work administering CPR, applying tourniquets and triaging the wounded. Dr. Natalie Stavas is a physician at Boston Children’s Hospital and she specializes in work with teenage mothers, improving the health of vulnerable children and decreasing youth violence. After the bombings, Dr. Stavas increased her efforts in preventing childhood violence and is described as a healer, educator and Boston community leader. She received the 2012 Change Maker award from The Boston Foundation and in early 2014, she helped partner Prescription for the Outdoors with Boston Medical Center's pediatric team. This advocacy goes beyond borders- traveling to Haiti throughout the year Dr. Stavas provides medical care to children and helps strengthen the fragile medical infrastructure.

Jade Simmons

How do you get to be named Classical Music's "No.1 Maverick?” Just ask Jade Simmons. By repeatedly defying expectations, delivering riveting performances and innovating at every turn, Simmons is one of the most versatile concert artists on the scene today. Simmons, however, doesn’t simply play the piano to impress audiences. She uses the piano as an instrument for providing inspiration, information and entertainment in order to profoundly move people. Listed as one of Ebony magazine's Top 30 Leaders under 30, Simmons’ impressive musical background and diverse cultural experiences have made her a pioneer and source of inspiration for her legions of fans. In her truly unique keynotes, Jade Simmons offers her inspiring messages alongside her world renowned piano performances. Her expertise has been called upon by an array of organizations looking to create a culture of excellence and foster meaningful change. A gifted speaker, her presentations give powerful insights into how creating a unique leadership brand can inspire the creation of ideas that will have a lasting impact on the world. With boundless energy and intellect, Jade Simmons teaches audiences not only how to lead, but how to start achieving beyond what they ever thought possible.

Steven Ford

Steve Ford enlightens his audiences with the unique perspective of what happens inside the White House as the son of the President. A teenager when his father assumed the reins of presidency from Richard Nixon, Steve faced many challenges through that time period: Secret Service agents following him around, two assassination attempts on his father, and his mother’s fight with alcoholism and breast cancer. During Steve's non-political presentation, you will learn the tools of his success in and outside Washington, DC that focus on character, integrity, and strong family bonds. With never-before-seen photos and videos, audiences get a taste of history with a powerful message that will forever stay with them.

Victor Strecher

Currently, as Director for Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, Dr. Strecher is working in the UM School of Public Health and the University of Michigan to create an environment that promotes more direct dissemination of research efforts to improve the public’s health nationally and globally. His book, On Purpose: Lessons in Life and Health From the Frog, the Dung Beetle, and Julia, is written for the lay public with a professional comic illustrator as a graphic novel and is accompanied by a free iOS app, a website, and smartphone and web apps. Dr. Strecher’s research and book focuses on the importance of developing and maintaining a strong purpose in life. In 1998, Dr. Strecher founded HealthMedia, an Ann Arbor-based company that has grown to over 185 employees, creating digital health coaching programs for millions of users. In 2008 HealthMedia was purchased by Johnson & Johnson.

Mark Schulman

Having performed for over a billion people, Mark incorporates unique and valuable content with blazing multimedia and drum performances to empower, inspire and elevate audiences to an evolved mindset and new level of peak performance. With Mark’s extremely high-energy speaking style, business relevant content, drumming and interactive activities, attendees get to express their own rhythms, fortify individual strengths and enhance emotional connections with their colleagues and families. What makes Mark different is that his presentation has the excitement of a rock show with the transformational aspects of a cutting-edge keynote. Think Tony Robbins meets Bono meets Ringo with live drumming, interactive performances, compelling and emotional stories of his intimate experiences with P!NK, Billy Idol, Foreigner, Cher and other world-class artists. Mark’s presentations inspire audiences to take immediate action toward increased performance.

Bill Beausay

Bill Beausay is a captivating speaker with a dynamic style that connects with any audience. Bill is the former Director of Research and Development at the Academy of Sports Psychoology and the author of nearly 20 books (including 3 national best-sellers) with worldwide circulation of over 1 million copies. Bill spent 10 years in a professional clinical practice before becoming a writer and international speaker on topics of personal growth and professional success. He has spoken for dozens of Fortune 500 firms, and has been featured on radio, newspapers, television, and magazines coast-to-coast. Be sure to read Bill’s most recent books, True Greatness: Mastering the Inner Game of Business Success, Personal Power and Creating Miracles When You’re Done In, Fed Up and Stressed Out, and his newest book, The Sender. Let Bill show your audiences the mechanics to achieve a fresher, bolder, better self.

Kara Sundlun

Kara Sundlun is a two-time Emmy Award winning news anchor and co-host of the popular daytime talk show, Better Connecticut. Kara has covered some of the biggest stories of our time from the War in Iraq, to reporting live from the terror attacks on 9/11, to breaking the horrific news of the school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Kara is also the author of her inspirational memoir, Finding Dad: From Love Child to Daughter. She shares her experience meeting her biological father, the Governor of Rhode Island, for the first time when she was a teenager. Kara is an engaging speaker that leaves audiences pumped full of practical wisdom they can use immediately to start unlocking their inner power and clearing a path to creating a happy ending from the inside out.

Eric Saperston

Eric Saperston is a master storyteller, communication and leadership expert who has dedicated his life to bridging the gap between those who want to teach and those who want to learn. Eric’s mission is to help individuals and organizations maximize their human potential to produce extraordinary results. His vision is to capture the living, oral history of the most phenomenal people in the world to uncover the common traits, motivating factors and core strategies which separate ordinary effort from extraordinary achievement. Eric has an uncanny ability to take us all on an unbelievable journey of self-exploration and discovery into the inner workings, driving factors and core beliefs which separate ordinary achievement from legendary success. If you’re looking for an infectious, outside the box, captivating keynote address, chock-full of leadership lessons which propel your organization to achieve excellence, then Eric Saperston is the person you want.

Bill Capodagli

In the past decade, Bill Capodagli has become the most sought after keynote speaker on the cultures of Disney and Pixar. He shows audiences why Walt Disney’s values of providing service to customers, training and enabling employees, and managing creativity and innovation are essential in organizations of any size, across diverse industries and markets. Bill also co-authored The Disney Way: Harnessing the Management Secrets of Disney in Your Company. Bill’s expertise in leadership, innovation and customer service has been the catalyst for transforming the cultures of numerous organizations. His practical applications, timeless advice, and step-by-step “Dream, Believe, Dare, Do” actions continue to enlighten audiences, from entry-level recruits to CEOs, and help transform entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies alike.

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